LIMA triggers Malaysia to keep up with growing defence industry: PM Mahathir (Updated)

26 Mar 2019 / 10:20 H.

LANGKAWI: The introduction of Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in 1991 helped to trigger Malaysia keep up with the rapidly developing defence industry, according to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Prime Minister, when launching LIMA ‘19 today said that the move was necessary as now Malaysia has gained prominence and is known as the home of the leading maritime and aerospace exhibition in the Asia Pacific area.

“As the Member of Parliament for Langkawi, it is indeed with pride that I witness this edition of LIMA still attracting international maritime and aerospace players and businesses from all corners of the globe.

“The 15th edition of LIMA brings back memories of the momentous 1991 edition when I launched the 1st Blueprint for the Development of the Aerospace Industry in Malaysia.

“It was a bold move for some and baby steps for others. But looking at what we have before as the development of the aerospace industry today, it was a necessary move to ensure that Malaysia kept up with the catalytic and rapidly growing industry,” he said in his opening speech.

LIMA’19 saw the participation of 406 defence-related companies and commercial entities from 32 countries, involving 206 local companies and 200 international corporations.

The fifteenth edition of LIMA, co-organised by the EN Projects (M) Sdn Bhd, the Defence Ministry and the Transportation Ministry, is themed ‘Defence and Commercial Connecting Intelligence’.

Dr Mahathir stressed that, modern security threats require Malaysia and other countries to continue upgrading and modernising their strategic assets, and therefore under the 2019 Budget, the government allocated a total of RM5.9 billion for the security sector which covers defence, public order and enforcement.

“The investment in the security sector will involve equipping the Armed Forces with the state-of-the-art technologies and weaponry. We plan to make Malaysia the leading aerospace nation in South East Asia and an integral part of the global market whereby this was spelt out under the Malaysia Aerospace Industry Blueprint 2030.

“As of today, 19 key initiatives of the Blueprint have been implemented by the National Aerospace Industry Coordinating Office which saw positive developments particularly in the aerospace manufacturing and MRO (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul) business,” he said.

The premier also shared the point that in the global arena, Malaysia is known for its quality aerospace products manufactured for global aerospace leaders whereby some of these products are being showcased throughout LIMA`19 to highlight Malaysia’s capabilities in producing world class aerospace products.

Therefore, he believed that LIMA`19 should serve as the place for global players to search for local suppliers involved in the export of aerospace products.

Apart from producing world class aerospace products, Dr Mahathir said that Malaysia should look at other opportunities in the industry particularly in ship designing; parts and components manufacturing; system integration; and other marine equipment production.

He said as a business friendly nation, Malaysia also welcomes business delegations to explore opportunities to collaborate with the local companies in line with government efforts to facilitate investment projects and business partnerships, as well as providing business platforms for the aerospace and maritime industries.

The Prime Minister in his speech also shared the point about the Defence White Paper, prepared by Defence Ministry which he believed was a significant contribution to the Malaysian defence landscape for several reasons and represented a strategic outlook on defence.

“The introduction of the Defence White Paper is indeed timely. LIMA re-emphasises the contribution of the defence industry to socioeconomic development of the country. As a spin off to other sectors of the economy, a strong and credible defence industry further reinforces the two main pillars of national security - economic well-being and political stability.

“We will continue to encourage local defence firms to collaborate strategically and manufacture hardware locally. This principle will continue to be the focal point of our deliberations in this edition of LIMA. Events like LIMA should also remind everyone that the defence industry too answers to a higher calling – the national agenda,” he added.

LIMA`19 will be hosting business delegations from 31 nations and a total of 390 defence and commercial companies whereby 195 international businesses will be displaying their products and services throughout the five days of exhibition.

Some 42,000 trade visitors are expected to converge at LIMA`19, not only to see the latest products and services offered by the exhibitors, but also to explore business potential particularly with Malaysia-based companies. — Bernama

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